Transforming rural livelihoods and landscapes: sustainable improvements to incomes, food security and the environment.

By 2050...

  • There will be over 9 billion people on the planet.
  • We will need to produce 60% more food.
  • Over 60% of the population will be living in cities.
  • Nearly 40% of the population will be under 18.


  • 40% of the population will still be working in agriculture.
  • Smallholders and family farms will produce over 70% of world food.
  • Over 1 billion people will still be at risk of malnutrition and hunger.


AIRCA's Vision and Mission


Healthy landscapes for improved livelihoods and food security.


Putting research into use by strengthening capacities for sustainable improvements to incomes, food and nutrition security in healthy landscapes.

Landscape challenges

  • Multiple & complex interactions (soil, water, crops, animals, humans, biodiversity, ecology).
  • Agriculture vs Ecosystem services.
  • Farm vs Non-Farm Occupations.
  • Cross-Border issues.
  • Government priorities and cooperation.
  • Need to make trade-offs and capture synergies.
  • Lack of good metrics.

The Broader Context

  • Need for integrated landscape planning to support both development and conservation.
  • Recognize complex system interactions and trans-boundary issues.
  • Preserve or restore ecosystem services.
  • Protect biodiversity and combat invasive species.
  • Develop new agriculture practices to adapt to climate change.
  • Improve land use planning to adapt to climate impacts.


  • Need for integrated action to deliver sustainable agricultural intensification at the landscape scale has stimulated the formation of the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA).
  • AIRCA is a nine-member alliance focused on increasing food security by supporting smallholder agriculture and rural enterprise within healthy, sustainable and climate-smart landscapes.
  • AIRCA members are:
    • WordlVeg - The World Vegetable Center (Shanhua, Taiwan)
    • CABI - CAB International (Wallingford, England, United Kingdom)
    • CATIE - Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (Cartago, Costa Rica)
    • CFF - Crops For the Future (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
    • ICBA - International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
    • ICIMOD - International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Kathmandu, Nepal)
    • icipe - African Insect Science for Food and Health (Nairobi, Kenya)
    • IFDC - International Fertilizer Development Center (Muscle Shoals, Alabama, USA)
    • INBAR - International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (Beijing - China)
  • Supported by more than 60 member countries comprising over 70% of the world's population, AIRCA members have activities in all major geographic regions and ecosystem types.
  • All have a proven track record of research, development and implementation, working closely with farmers, extension systems, national research institutes, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector across a wide range of crops and ecosystems.

What can AIRCA contribute?

  • Experience of varied and challenging ecosystems (geography, climate and politics).
  • Expertise in a wide range of crops.
  • Focus on diverse crops of high economic, nutritional or cultural value.
  • Development of metrics (economics and biology).
  • Innovative mechanisms for communication, knowledge transfer and capacity building.
  • Creative strategies to assess outcomes and impact.

AIRCA members have

  • Expertise across range of ecosystems and substantive crop diversity.
  • Core competencies in health of humans, plants, animals and landscapes.
  • Integrated and holistic approaches to solving development problems at scale.
  • Ability to respond rapidly and efficiently in the face of new problems.
  • Long-established track record of working with member-country.


AIRCA's recommendations

Food and nutrition security
  • Indigenous crops and animals are often best suited to the region.
  • New crops and varieties can improve climate resilience or resistance to pests and diseases.
  • Crop/diet diversity essential for nutritional security.
  • Understand culture and tradition around food, not just the calories.


Improving livelihoods
  • Link farmers to markets, support with information.
  • Improve access to alternative value chains and markets.
  • Help farmers organise, brand and market their crop.
  • Develop agro-forestry systems (fruit, coffee, bamboo).
  • Improve plant health systems and promote IPM approaches.
  • Consider non-farm and off-farm alternatives.

Improving livelihoods

Leveraging the power of mobile
  • Weather
  • Alerts, early warning
  • Market prices, locations
  • Best practice advice
  • Crop health, pests and disease
  • Input supplies
  • Animal health and husbandry
  • Crop Calendar-based advice
  • Finance, credit and insurance
  • Nutrition
  • Health


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